Denver Broncos Edge Rushers Search a Priority on To-Do List

Denver Broncos Edge Rusher Search: Pairing with Bradley Chubb

While the Denver Broncos are perpetually in need of a true franchise quarterback, it is time to focus on other positions of need. The Broncos search for edge rushers should be high up on the to-do list. They have a few options.

Denver Broncos Edge Rushers Search a Priority on To-Do List

Linebacker Bradley Chubb stands as the team’s only good edge rusher but will need to bounce back after a disastrous, injury-riddled 2021 season. Jonathan Cooper was decent as a rookie, but it is yet to be seen if he is starter material. Malik Reed is a restricted free agent who will likely be tendered.

Meanwhile, the rest of Denver’s edge rushers are unrestricted free agents or players who are only depth at this point. The Broncos could opt to trade high picks for a veteran quarterback and explore free agency. Conversely, they could rely on the 2022 draft class, which has some impressive edge-rushing prospects.

Bradley Chubb: Healthy and Excited to Work

Chubb had his fifth-year option exercised during the 2021 off-season but with injuries to his finger, knee, and both ankles—plus a brief battle with COVID-19—he missed a total of 24 games over the last three seasons. In the seven games he played last year, he totaled just 21 tackles and zero sacks.

Per Jon Heath of BroncosWire, Chubb admitted to having his worst year as a pro.

“This year was honestly probably my worst year as a pro. All offseason last year I dealt with an ankle [injury], and I was just trying to get back for OTAs. Then, as soon as I got healthy my other ankle went. I’m nowhere near where I want to be. This offseason is probably my first time since my rookie year I’m coming out fully healthy going into the offseason… I don’t want anything more than to help this team win and to take this organization back to that winning pedigree that everybody knows.”

Chubb totaled 12 sacks in 15 games as a rookie. He has since recorded only 8.5 sacks in his last 25 games. He just needs to prove he can return to his rookie form, which seems entirely possible now that he is back to full health.

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Young Players Who Aren’t at Elite Level Yet

There are players under 30 years old who have been in the game for some time but have yet to reach their full potential. Players like Derek Barnett, Emmanuel Ogbah, Harold Landry, Hassan Reddick, and Jadeveon Clowney all fall into this category. These are players who have shown flashes of talent on occasion and varying degrees of success in 2021. They may be ideal number-two pass rushers.

The Broncos must ask themselves if any of these defenders are worth paying, as they will likely have command real money. Their interest should be balanced with what they believe these players could do in comparison with what Chubb might do.

Veterans and Depth Players

The Broncos could always go down the veteran road, with some free agents having good track records. However, many would have seen their peak already. Players like Chandler Jones and Melvin Ingram would be ideal, but only if they were intended to be brought in as secondary pass rushers or for depth.

There is also the possibility of just bringing guys in for depth. Age doesn’t matter. They would be rotational or depth players who excel in particular schemes.

The need for edge rushers is urgent with Von Miller no longer in Denver. Chubb had always been expected to take the reins and it looks like he can in 2022. He needs someone to help him and perhaps they can develop into elite players. Only time will tell.

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